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Black Friday on a digital advertising budget

Smart bidding is revolutionising the way SMEs can unlock the power and potential of programmatic advertising… on a limited budget
Piero Pavone, CEO, Preciso

Each year Black Friday fires the starter gun on the festive spending season that runs from late November to early January. This six-week stint also encompasses Cyber Monday, the Christmas and January sales, and represents one of the most highly anticipated commerce periods of the year.

Black Friday is the jewel in the crown, however, and can be relied upon to produce some truly staggering sales figures. In 2021 the US alone spent $8.9bn dollars on Black Friday (down from $9bn in 2020), and in 2018 the UK experienced a sales spike of an incredible 1,708% on the big day. Clearly, Black Friday represents an opportunity not to be missed for brands and advertisers looking to push their products and services towards an audience willing (and able) to burn cash like no other day of the year.

However, the scale of this opportunity also presents issues, especially for SMEs on a limited advertising budget – and in a recessionary year when people are likely to be spending more carefully than usual. Cutting through the tsunami of Black Friday-related digital advertising activity to engage with an audience is never an easy task, especially when competing with retail giants like Amazon. Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of smart bidding.

Programmatic… but not as you know it

Traditionally, programmatic advertising offers a great opportunity for digital marketers looking to target their audience at scale. The problem for small businesses with a limited budget is that the DSPs and ad networks through which you target an audience are designed to use huge budgets and vast numbers of bids per second to seek and engage the desired audience. It’s a numbers game that can err on the side of scattergun.

This approach leads to wastage, and a large number of SMEs can’t commit the kind of cash required to be effective. On top of that, many DPSs have a minimum spend for those looking to use their service, pricing out SMEs operating to a limited budget.

But there are ways to use programmatic smart bidding while reducing the aforementioned waste, with no minimum spend required. Smart bidding offers the key to unlocking programmatic’s potential for SMEs looking to make the most of the significant sales opportunities Black Friday presents.

Introducing smart bidding

To buy impressions that offer value, smart bidding relies on advanced machine learning technology and the simultaneous analysis of multiple metrics. This information is combined with data that maps the consumer journey to predict exactly which placements offer the best value, intrinsically removing waste from the process. Ad creative is optimised dynamically in real-time as it is served to the consumer, increasing impact and engagement levels.

Understanding the metrics smart bidding uses, and what each offers, is key to appreciating the power of this technology. Analysing the correct mix of metrics to secure a winning impression is not easy, and smart bidding buys individual impressions based on the following factors:

  • Content – the best, most appropriate creative likely to deliver engagement
  • User – the most likely audience to resonate with the ad
  • Time – the right moment to reach a user

A ranking system then categorises and targets clusters of consumers depending on the degree to which these users are engaging with the ad campaigns and products.

Ready for Black Friday

Being able to target impressions that offer the greatest value, and inherently reducing waste in the programmatic process, is what makes smart bidding so powerful for SMEs. It is a technology that promises to make smaller budgets work hard on Black Friday, allowing brands to push their products and services to their audience accurately and efficiently on one of the most important commerce days of the year.

And it couldn’t be easier to do. Preciso’s own smart bidding technology is integrated into ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and Magento, making it super-simple to start promoting your lines on the 25th of November. The only question is, why stop at Black Friday? With Cyber Monday following a few days later, and the rest of the festive spending spree on the way directly after that, smart bidding can focus your advertising spend through to next year.

Piero Pavone:

Piero Pavone leads Preciso’s global team of ad tech innovators, enabling businesses around the world to hit the highest win rates in the RTB marketplace.

An expert in display advertising, data analysis and business development, Piero’s passion for programmatic technology led him to establish the innovative bidding platform, to offer practical media buying which would minimise budget waste. Determined to see that all advertisers should benefit from programmatic advertising, his team remains on a mission to open the market to smaller brands. A veteran of digital strategy and online marketing, prior to joining Preciso as Chief Executive Officer, Piero was COO at MainAd, where he led the performance marketing company’s global operations and ad tech innovations as well as its commercial expansion and strategic alliances worldwide.

A thought leader with extensive experience in the online marketing industry, he continues to disrupt programmatic ad buying to open the doors to premium advertising for all advertisers – democratizing access to high-quality, qualified traffic at wholesale prices for merchants without the deep pockets of household names. An experienced innovator, entrepreneur, board member and company founder – and a software programmer and data analyst by heart – Piero boasts a long track record of driving successful technology innovations and commercial strategic direction, in a career spanning over 20 years.


Preciso is Europe’s fast-growing RTB marketplace, powered by its flagship Smart-Bid technology and delivering client campaigns in just a few easy clicks. Through use of actual customer journey and machine learning, Preciso technology predicts customer behaviour to calculate which display ad placement to buy in a real-time bidding marketplace – boosting relevance and conversion and putting the power back into the hands of advertisers. Founded in Italy by Piero Pavone, Preciso has expanded over the last few years and now has teams in 6 countries.

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